Today begins the third annual #cyberpd event hosted by Cathy Mere, Jill Fisch, and Laura Komos. This is an online book study that offers up deep reflection and wide-ranging discussion across grades, disciplines, and time zones.
This rings so true for me.
Consider the rise of the maker movement. It is a reflection of people’s desire to “get real”–to make, to create, to produce. From arts and crafts to robotics and coding, maker fairs are popping up in and out of schools to help us reconnect our lives in physical and productive ways. But November’s point is not just about productivity. It is importantly about the power of purposeful and meaningful contribution, not just “look what I made”, but “look how I have solved this problem.”
The Big Question:
Will the work survive beyond the student’s time in school?
Did the project solve a problem? Contribute to the knowledge of the world?
No. Once its usefulness as a static exhibit had run its course, the work became trash.
The issue, then, is one of curriculum design. How do I understand the curriculum expectations through the Digital Learning Farm lens? How am I supporting students’ development in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in a way that is purposeful and meaningful? This must be curriculum design that goes beyond having students write reviews for GoodReads or construct comments for online news articles, beyond running a Today’s Meet back channel in class, beyond writing reflective blogs, and beyond writing essays or collaborative poems in Google docs.
This is curriculum design that fuses the gradual release of responsibility, the student inquiry and deep questioning process, the sophisticated integration of information and communication technology, and November’s concept of the Digital Learning Farm.
This is curriculum design that breaks the traditional game of school.
Although #cyberpd has chunked chapters one and two together, I want to think through each of November’s four roles for students and what they might look like in my classroom, so I will post a second entry on “The Student as Tutorial Designer” separately.
I look forward to reading what everyone else thought about this week’s reading.